Seattle Sounders announce end-of-season roster moves; Montero in talks to return

Seattle Sounders FC v Portland Timbers
Seattle Sounders FC v Portland Timbers / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

The Seattle Sounders announced their end-of-season roster moves on Tuesday afternoon, returning a large bulk of their squad that won the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League title.

However, that same squad failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history. While there are always transfers during the offseason, the Seattle Sounders announced who will step away from the club.

General manager Garth Lagerwey said that 2022 will always be historic due to the CCL win.

“That does not take away the disappointment of missing the postseason for the first time in club history, and we are already amidst preparations to bounce back in 2023," Lagerwey said, via a press release. "I’d like to thank our players for their hard work all season, as well as the staff for their contributions each and every day. I would also like to thank all our fans for their emphatic support of the club all year long, this season and every season.” 

Seattle's full roster for the 2023 season, so far, is listed below.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Stefan Cleveland, Stefan Frei, Andrew Thomas

DEFENDERS (6): Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Nouhou, Jackson Ragen, Alex Roldan

MIDFIELDERS (12): Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Léo Chú, Ethan Dobbelaere, João Paulo, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe, Albert Rusnák, Dylan Teves, Obed Vargas

FORWARDS (2): Jordan Morris, Raúl Ruidíaz

The club announced that options were exercised for goalkeeper Andrew Thomas, defenders Abdoulaye Cissoko and Jackson Ragen, midfielders Josh Atencio, Danny Leyva and Dylan Teves, and forward Jordan Morris.

The club already had 16 players under contract heading into 2023, including goalkeeper Stefan Frei and Designated Players Raúl Ruidíaz, Albert Rusnák and Nicolás Lodeiro.

Furthermore, the Sounders announced that Will Bruin and Alfonso Ocampo-Chávezhad their options declined. Bruin has been with the Sounders since joining from the Houston Dynamo in 2017. He helped the Sounders win the 2019 MLS Cup title, and scored 32 goals in six seasons across all competitions, with 27 in MLS. He made 132 appearances and added 13 assists. Bruin is ninth on the Sounders list of all-time leading goal scorers.

Bruin, who is 33 years old, has spent his entire career in MLS, joining the Houston Dynamo in 2011 as the 11th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. He made two appearances for the U.S. men's national team in 2013.

Meanwhile, Ocampo-Chávez, a 20-year-old homegrown forward made three appearances and one start in 2019. He did not make an appearance for the senior Sounders from 2020-22.

Seattle noted that forward Sam Adeniran’s status will be "determined following the conclusion of San Antonio FC's postseason run, where he is currently out on loan." Adeniran has started 18 of 20 matches, recording 10 goals and one assist.

The most intriguing note of the Tuesday release is the status of Fredy Montero. The longtime Sounder -- and the club's leading goalscorer with 76 goals -- is in "active discussions" with the Sounders about extending his time in Seattle.

Montero joined the Sounders in 2009 on loan from Deportivo Cali, his hometown club in Colombia, and was signed in 2011. He left in 2014 for Sporting CP in Portugal, only to return to MLS in 2019 with the Vancouver Whitecaps. After two seasons in Canada, Montero made his triumphant return to the Puget Sound in 2021.

While Montero is having talks with Seattle, it doesn't seem that Jimmy Medranda is in the same boat. The Sounders simply stated that Medranda is "out of contract." Medranda came to Seattle in a trade with Nashville SC in 2020.

The Sounders will be competing in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup. While no dates have been announced, the United States has been rumored to be contenders to host the tournament.